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Psychology A-Level at New College Pontefract

Course description

Ever wondered if the experiences you had before the age of five really do shape the person you are today or why some people conform? Psychology explores a wide range of approaches to explain human behaviour and how our mind works from a scientific and research based perspective.

The course will look at topics such as the interaction between infants and their caregivers, the accuracy of eyewitness testimony, and will introduce you to psychological disorders such as depression. You will also acquire an understanding of scientific processes and techniques of data handling and analysis. You will develop valuable study skills in addition to a broad base of knowledge spanning one of the most interesting and varied courses available.


Course content

Year 12

Social influence, memory, attachment, approaches in Psychology, biopsychology, psychopathology and research methods.

Year 13

Issues and debates in Psychology and one topic from each of the following options:

Option one - relationships, gender, cognition and development

Option two - schizophrenia, eating behaviour, stress

Option three - aggression, forensic psychology, addiction

Entry requirements

Level 5 English, Level 5 in Maths and Level 5-5 in Combined Science


At Year 12, you will develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the core areas of psychology (social, cognitive, developmental, biological and individual differences) through a range of topics, chosen for their accessibility and popularity.

Year 12 Units

Unit 1:

· Cognitive psychology, including memory and eyewitness testimony

· Developmental psychology, including early social development, attachment and the effects of day care

· Scientific research methods, in the context of the above areas

Unit 2:

Biological psychology, including stress, factors affecting stress, coping with stress and managing stress

· Social psychology, including majority and minority influence, obedience and independent behaviour

· Individual differences, including definitions of abnormality, approaches and therapies

Year 13 Units:

Unit 3: 

Will include:

· Biological rhythms and sleep

· Relationships

· Aggression

Unit 4: 

Will include:

· Psychopathology

· The psychology of addictive behaviour

· Research Methods including statistical testing

Financial information

Financial support can be provided to students of families who are on low income to help with extra costs of staying on in education. If you need any further information please visit our website or contact student services.

Future opportunities

Psychology can be pursued in its own right - as either a clinical, educational or occupational psychologist - but other relevant careers include teaching, nursing, medicine, the police, social work, business management, marketing, sport, speech therapy and a wide range of other careers.

Further information

What skills do I need?

  • A desire to know and understand human behaviour and experience.
  • An ability to think critically and evaluate these differing explanations.
  • Able to express knowledge and understanding through structured written work.
  • The ability to learn and revise lots of new content.

How will I be taught?
Each Psychology class will be taught using a variety of methods including formal teaching and activity based learning, class discussion, revision tests and practice of exam questions.

You will also undertake a series of formal assessments which will allow you to have the opportunity to practise valuable exam skills.

Private Study
As an approximate guideline Y12 subjects require three to four hours of independent study each; Y13 subjects four to five hours each and GCSE subjects two hours each

What materials will I need to purchase?
A ring binder and notepaper

Examining Board

Psychology is for you if: You have an interest in science, want to understand and evaluate human behaviour and can learn and memorise lots of information

Psychology is not for you if: You don’t like big exams and struggle to revise lots of new information

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 06 October 2017
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